I (Dayna) was an assistant brewer at Witch’s Hat Brewery in South Lyon for over a year. (If you haven’t been there yet, please make the trip!) I have done everything this article talks about – and while mashing in the grain to start the brew day off is important, that is only a small percent of the work that it takes to produce a good beer.
Many people are in awe when they hear I worked as an assistant brewer. Even my chiropractor who asked me, “You can lift a full keg?!” To which my response was, “only a few inches, but yeah.” (I am 5’2” and 110lb.) (Yeah, I know most ladies wouldn’t disclose that information, but I find it amusing.)
In the industry we always joke about the fact that we are really just glorified janitors. Everything has to be clean and sanitized to produce the best beer possible. There is a lot of lifting of hoses and parts, a lot of cleaning chemicals in use, and a lot of documentation of the process each batch undergoes. I don’t know if all of this means that brewing beer is an extreme sport, but the flip side is that beer seems to be necessary for many extreme sports to exist. I mean, what is a marathon run if you can’t run into the beer tent at the end?!